TAMSUI, Taiwan — Lu Wei-chih won for the first time since surgery four years ago to remove a brain tumor, taking his home Mercuries Taiwan Masters for the third time Sunday at windy Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
The 37-year-old Lu closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 5-under 283, a stroke ahead of Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines. Lu has four Asian Tour victories, also winning on his home course in 2005 and 2011.
“It means a lot to me to win this tournament. After the surgery, I thought I couldn’t play golf anymore so to be a winner again is amazing,” Lu said. “After the surgery I took things slowly. I started step by step. Can you imagine, after the surgery, the doctor said I couldn’t even sneeze! So I took things slow. I started by hitting 100 balls and after that, I blanked out. It was so tiring. At that time I thought I couldn’t play golf anymore.
“But my family pushed me. My wife, my father and my mother kept pushing me and kept motivating me to keep fighting. I’m here today because of them. The victory is for them as well. I’m blessed to have them in my life.”
Tabuena matched Lu with a 70.
Lu earned $160,000.
“Lu Wei-chih deserves to win,” Thailand’s Danthai Boonma said after tying for third. “He is a solid player and to get past the brain surgery shows that when you are down, you can get back up if you work hard. I’m glad he won.”
The tournament was played opposite the tour’s Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea. India’s Ganganjeet Bhullar won that event, closing with a 4-under 67 in rainy Incheon for a one-stroke victory over Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent and South Korea’s Taewoo Kim. Australia’s Scott Hend increased his lead atop the order of merit, tying for sixth to push his season total to $763,252.